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Reviewed by Courtnee Turner Hoyle for Readers' Favorite
Mech: Heart and Soul is a middle-grade book by Ken Deeprose. Orin is a young teenager who is intelligent enough to work in a tech-savvy department in Cambria, the Depot. The Mechs, large robots that have artificial intelligence, have been developed to defend the Cambrians against the Marans, a race of beings the general public has not seen. Three Mechs were the heroes of the first war against the Marans, and Orin has tasked himself with bringing them back to life, as the threat of another war approaches. At the Cambrian Palace, Princess Juna stumbles upon her father’s plan to put a certain class of people in danger. She despises the patriarchal monarchy in place and the deplorable caste system, and she seeks a way to help her friends who are part of other classes.
Ken Deeprose created characters who communicated deep themes of friendship. There are a lot of them to remember, but they added depth to the book. The story moved along at a medium pace, but a reader can’t skip a page or they might miss valuable information as the novel switches between Orin's and Princess Juna’s points of view. There’s a level of mystery to the plot, as the reader learns the identity of the Marans, and civil unrest descends on the Cambrian people. The story ends with some unanswered questions that pave the way for the next book in the series. I recommend Mech: Heart and Soul to children and teens who enjoy sci-fi stories. In addition, more experienced readers could enjoy the high-action plot.